How to Own your Space

25 March 2018

Dale Carnegie said “There are always three speeches for every one you actually gave. The one you practised, the one you gave and the one you wish you gave”.

When I look back on my life, I realise there were so many occasions in which I was ‘under the spotlight’. So many times I was tested and I really struggled to settle into myself. I always felt I had to prove myself… my worth. So often I wished I had said something differently when I was under pressure – I would kick myself and sink my head in shame. Was I smart enough, fast enough, talented enough, attractive enough? Enough was never enough because it always felt hollow. I was at the mercy of other people’s opinions. How disempowering this is.

Dale Carnegie was right but I wonder how many of us actually figure out a reliable process to overcome this turmoil… to ‘show up’ in the way that we planned… in the way we envisage… to put our full potential out to the world?

We don’t want to keep looking back with regret because this is the sort of stuff that eats us up.

Well-meaning colleagues and friends will tell you; “don’t be silly, why are you nervous, its nothing”…

Wait for it…

“Just be yourself”…


If it was this easy Dale Carnegie would never have quoted anything.

This is what happens with leadership – we are under such scrutiny all the time that we simply cannot settle into ourselves. We are continually judged and we start covering up – acting out a version of ourselves that just never feels right.

We really struggle just to be ourselves… because nobody has shown us how.

How can we connect with others if we cannot connect within?

In the first video of our series, we explore what it means to engage and inspire others by engaging and inspiring yourself first.

presentation skills public speaking
Photo by from Pexels

How to win over an audience

We win an audience by placing our intention and our purpose at the centre of our messages – this is the stuff that motivates, inspires and educates. This stuff is ‘underneath the words’… the stuff that isn’t spoken.

We need to be Relevant, ie we need to address the needs of our audience, but we must also ‘show up’.

Great communicators know what is going on in their mind and body and they are not afraid of that. They still experience a ‘heightened state of arousal’ (aka nerves) but they have a process that enables them to utilise this phenomenon.

I passionately believe that we can all become great communicators. Often, I have seen the most unassuming, introverted people become the most incredibly inspiring speakers.

I do not believe that I, myself was born with this skill. I recall being quiet and unassuming. I had to learn it and when I realised what I was really capable of I eventually began a mission to empower others.

The vast majority of us don’t believe we are Worthy of telling a story because we have benchmarked ourselves before we step in the room.

We all have stories – it’s a case of picking the most appropriate ones for the needs of our listeners.

I believe people have greatness within them and that this greatness will look different in each of us. Out role is to embrace the differences.

Benchmarking doesn’t work because we can never truly stand in someone else’s shoes.



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